Take Care of My Cat

on October 18, 2002 by Ed Scheid
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A pet cat is passed between girlfriends in South Korea, symbolizing the changing relationships between the five 20something women living in the port town of Inchon. The girls had been inseparable, but after high school their lives take divergent paths. "Take Care of My Cat" presents an overview of contemporary South Korea, where modern lifestyles and electronic gadgets conflict with the family traditions of earlier generations.

After cutting between the different girls, their stories come into focus. Hae-joo (Yo-won Lee) takes a job at a brokerage firm in Seoul. She becomes upwardly mobile as her friends cope with their daily routines in Inchon. Tae-hee (Doo-nae Bae) works without pay for her parents and types the poems of a man with cerebral palsy. Artistic Ji-young (Ji-young Ok) desperately wants to study textile design abroad. Unable to afford the expense, she lives with her grandparents under a decayed roof. Twins Ohn-jo and Bi-ryu (Eun-shil and Euj-joo Lee), who sell jewelry on the street, remain peripheral characters. As the friends keep in touch via cell phones, some begin to drift apart.

While Hae-joo resembles the typical young urban professional, the more serious problems faced by Tae-hee and Ji-young make them more compelling characters. The actresses give natural, unaffected performances. Doo-nae Bae is particularly good as the unfulfilled Tae-hee.

In her feature debut, director/writer Jae-eun Jeong often photographs her characters in motion, walking or running through the subway station, reflecting the restlessness of their lives. They work and live in confining spaces, and Inchon has the drab look of washed-out color. Jeong sensitively gives her film an underlying sadness as the young women cope with the changes in their lives. Starring Doo-na Bae, Yo-won Lee and Ji-young Ok. Directed and written by Jae-eun Jeong. Produced by Gi-min Oh. A Kino release. Drama. Korean-language; subtitled. Unrated. Running Time: 112 min

Tags: Doo-na Bae, Yo-won Lee, Ji-young Ok, Directed and written by Jae-eun Jeong, Produced by Gi-min Oh, A Kino release, Drama, urban, gadgets, South Korea
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